For a pawsome day hike in the DC metro area, look no further than the Billy Goat Trail! Located southeast of the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in Potomac, it is one of the busiest routes in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. This pawpular trail will definitely put a wag in your adventurous doggo's tail!
The Billy Goat Trail contains three different sections, two of which are pup-friendly. While not contiguous, they are close together and connected by the towpath that meanders through the park. Section A, the most traveled and most technical of the three, is the only section that's off-limits to canine hikers, so skip it and head straight to Section B or C if Fido's tagging along.
Running 1.4 miles along the Potomac River, Section B can be accessed from the towpath near Old Angler's Inn or from Carderock. This section will take you and your pooch on a wooded nature walk with some light rock scrambles. Though the National Park Service has rated it as challenging, athletic dogs should have no problem tackling this part of the trail. For an even easier hike, proceed to Section C, which is accessible from Carderock. This 1.6-mile section also travels through forested terrain next to the river but doesn't have any scrambles. At one end of the trail, you and Fido will come across a small waterfall.
Regardless of which section you take, you and your four-legged hiking partner will almost always have a furrific view of the Potomac. Enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery that the DC region has to offer, but don't furget to observe proper trail petiquette by keeping your pooch on a 6-foot leash and cleaning up after them. There are no garbage bins in the park, so all trash must be packed out. Remember to bring snacks and lots of water, too. A pawmazing outdoor experience awaits you and Fido on the Billy Goat Trail!